Top strategies for creating a quick but effective content audit
One of the normal themes I continually revisit in my own work and writing may be the proliferation and abundance of content. For brands looking to use content, and content marketing more specifically, to reach and engage prospects and customers, they need to think very carefully about the value and utility their efforts and how this benefits their audience to generate action.
There are many great resources and links to in-depth content audits, including Smart Insights’ 360 content marketing audit Quick Win. They are needed for anyone seeking to conduct an in depth evaluation of a brand’s current content situation with the purpose of making changes and recommendations. However, in this article, I’d prefer to highlight just five easy steps and techniques that I’ve personally found ideal for creating a quick assessment. This may often be ideal for digital marketers seeking to create a quick overview whenever starting a new company or for anybody else (e.g. brand managers, marketing managers etc.) who would like to know how content has been used.
What is really a content audit?
The idea of a ‘content audit’ often means various things to differing people and the scope can transform greatly according to the emphasis. Some will review a whole brand’s content presence (online and offline), whilst others will focus more on usability or UX. For the purposes of the post, I’ll be turning over the usage of digital content from the content marketing perspective and how content can be used to operate a vehicle reach, engagement, and interest with consumers across digital channels.
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What will be the benefits of owning a content audit?
It’s fair to state that conducting a content audit isn’t always probably the most glamorous of tasks. However when completed well they are able to deliver a disproportionate quantity of value. A few of the benefits of an excellent content audit include:
- Evaluate content quality and effectiveness
- Understand what is/ isn’t driving performance
- Set new standards once and for all quality content
- Identify content gaps
- Discover new topics and areas which will resonate together with your audience
- Identify the proper content types and assets to leverage
- Improve user experience
- Take a user-centric view of content
- Improve content structure and information architecture
- Enhance internet search engine optimization
- Highlight regions of focus predicated on search demand
- Remove content which could harm search performance, e.g. low quality, ‘thin’ content
- Enhance content efficiency
- Identify opportunities to re-purpose or create new content
- Leverage social media to amplify content
Five regions of focus
If you have limited time and budget and desire to conduct an instant but effective audit, do you know the main regions of focus? Everyone will approach this differently but listed below are the steps and techniques that I’ve find useful:
1. Reach: organic and paid visibility
Understanding how you’re reaching users from both a paid and organic perspective will provide you with a sign of predicament versus competitors and commence to unearth areas for improvement and opportunities to generate new content.
- How are fundamental pages rankings organically?
- What can be your brand’s market share vs. competitors?
- What social media presence do you have?
Steps and actions:
- Check organic search visibility for terms and phrases utilizing a keyword tracking tool such as for example Moz or SEMrush to comprehend where content is appearing in the serp’s:
- How can be your brand appearing for universal serp’s? Based on your brand and business consider the way you are optimized for the next organic sections: Organic listings, images, videos, news, local (map), hotels, books, and knowledge graph profiles.
- Review social reach and engagement to comprehend paid and organic reach of content and how it really is resonating with audiences across all of the main social channels:
2. Architecture: channel design, structure and functionality
For many brands their website is will undoubtedly be their major digital asset and the main owned media property for setting the vision, look and tone of the brand. How content and information is structured and presented is essential to make a direct effect and ensure consistency.
- What do digital assets appear to be and how are they organized?
- How do the assets work?
- How is brand presented to customers?
Steps and actions:
- Review the usability of one’s website with a concentrate on the next criteria: Design, presentation of information, load times, link integrity (broken links), and naviagtion
- Most websites are actually responsive automagically but take the time to examine how content appears on mobile. Check your site’s performance across different cellular devices across different metrics:
- Take a glance at the branding, appearance and create of one’s different social channels. Whilst visits to a brand’s social pages could be limited, they’re still important brand touchpoints and donate to your channels’ authority and reputation. Areas to take into account include: Channel header, logo, page description and ‘about’, links linked to sites and pages, and pinned posts or trailers to key content.
3. Content: process and assets
Not all content is established equal and it’s therefore vital that you have a view in regards to what is good and what might need to go, either because of a target assessment of quality or how this fits together with your wider content strategy.
- What existing content must be re-worked or refreshed?
- What new content for anyone who is creating?
- And where is that content best promoted?
Steps and actions:
Review existing content strategy:
- What will be the brand’s goals and objectives for using content?
- Who may be the market?
- What content types and formats are generally used?
- What article marketing workflows and processes are set up?
- How is content being measured and performance presented to management?
4. Integration: connection between online and offline touchpoints
Whilst it really is sometimes appropriate to help keep components of your digital footprint separate in one another, it is also a missed opportunity if you’re not cross-promoting channels and inviting your audience for connecting in various places.
- Are social media channels accessible from your own website along with other digital properties?
- Are you cross-linking between different social channels and websites?
- Is there consideration concerning how online and offline connect to each other (if highly relevant to your brand)?
Steps and actions:
- Ensure your main social channels are accessible via your site and positioned prominently make it possible for users to get and click. Consider if the proper social links are increasingly being used
- Review links back again to your website on your own social channels. Will be the links correct? Do they indicate the proper pages? (hint: they needn’t always indicate your homepage)
- Review how online and offline channels are connecting and referencing each other. For instance, does the brand use hashtags, URLs or social icons within TV, print and OOH advertising? Interestingly Marketing Land discovered that in 2017 hashtags in Super Bowl ads were overtaken by URLs:
5. Measurement: digital objectives, metrics and performance
Without an obvious picture of performance, it’s very hard to form set up a baseline in which to create improvements and judge what has/ hasn’t been working. It’s also vital that you have the proper reporting structures set up to make sure that all key stakeholders are receiving the proper information to create decisions and do something.
- Does your brand have the proper objectives set up to measure KPIs?
- What metrics are increasingly being used to measure performance?
- What reporting structures come in place?
Steps and actions:
- Ensure there exists a robust and consistent measurement framework set up. A measurement framework/ model is really a solution to structure your thinking, prioritize goals and organize the KPIs and metrics you’ll use to measure performance:
- Review how content marketing campaigns and projects are increasingly being measured. As shown in the example above, goals, KPIs and segments should flow from high-level business objectives so there’s always an obvious link back again to what the business enterprise is seeking to achieve
- Check current reporting systems and protocols:
- How often is performance measured?
- When are reports being run?
- What has been reported?
- Why may be the data being shared?
- Who receives the info?
As mentioned first of the post, there are several great guides and resources to more in-depth content audits that i would recommend looking at if you’re going to conduct an in depth content audit. But also for those searching for a quick, cost-effective overview I am hoping the steps outlined above prove useful.
Whether you’re conducting a deep-dive audit or perhaps a simple overview, the main element objective would be to make sure you get a 3600 view of how content has been planned, promoted, used and measured. Only by focusing on how content happens to be performing is it possible to then start identifying opportunities for new content opportunities and build the credibility had a need to sell suggestions to all of those other organization. The five regions of focus above give a basic framework to structure your audit process.